Sharing some insight on Becoming More Frugal as a Homemaker including ways to save and simple living inspiration.
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The Day Begins
The days have been sunny, deceptively feeling like spring. Though nowhere near warm enough to open the windows, hanging a bit of lavender has the same effect on me. I found myself with a basket in hand and the urge to fill it with their soft purple blooms.
Heading out to the garden as if it were a spring day I began snipping off the buds and filling the basket. Afterward, I sat in the sunshine and wrapped twine around each bundle for hanging. Having perennial plants that bloom year-round has created an affordable way to decorate our city farmhouse. I love the smell and vibrant purple color the lavender brings to the spaces they are hung in.
Being Frugal in the Kitchen
With soaring grocery prices, I have been trying to be a bit more frugal. Buying whole chickens over precut. They work for several dishes worth of meat and I am picking the last of the chicken off to make chicken salad for lunch. Oddly, the scraps are a welcomed treat for our laying hens.
Their bones I use to make stock or bone broth. A simple process of simmering on the stovetop with a few herbs, salt, and water. It is much healthier and more delicious than store-bought and of course, it’s another way to save by making your own.
During the spring and summer, I like to pack our homegrown tomatoes in olive oil. The taste is incredibly better than canned tomatoes when cooking while at the same time, it offers a much easier way to can our harvest. This week I found a great price on these Roma tomatoes at the store. In keeping with the theme of saving money, I decided to stock up on them to pack in olive oil for later meals.
This too is a simple process that I will be sure to link for your below. I basically trim off the tops and add the tomatoes to a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper then heat them on low for about 20 minutes at 300℉. This helps to remove the skins of the tomatoes before packing them. Instead of tossing the tops in the trash, I am going to bake them in the oven for a small batch of sun-dried tomatoes.
It is that time of year when the garden plans are put into action. This week I decided to start seeds for most of the things we will be growing this year. I normally do a combination of both direct sowing and add in a few started plants from the nursery to fill in what doesn’t germinate. But this year I am trying to do my best to be the most cost-effective I can be in the garden.
Starting seeds ourselves isn’t nearly as time-consuming or difficult as you might imagine. I am opting to use what I have as far as containers along with toilet paper rolls. This is not only environmentally conscious but also cost-effective. The best part of starting the seeds in the rolls is that you can plant the tube entirely in the garden bed as it is biodegradable. You can write the plant on the tube for labels to keep organized and I use an old baking sheet for a tray.
I will be growing herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. I also have some beautiful black and apricot hollyhocks to add in for more flowers. Other flowers and herbs that are easy to direct sow will be things like dill, cosmos, and sunflowers. I have narrowed down the vegetables to only include our favorites to eat.
There have been plenty of years of me growing many random crops of things that have gone to waste because they were things we didn’t end up liking. This year, I hope to be my best intentional gardener. Growing crops of fresh food intended for storing and eating as a way to supplement the grocery bill. Flowers might seem necessary but I do believe beauty to be just as needed as vegetables. Besides more flowers mean more pollinators for the vegetables which means a better crop.
I keep the seed starts in a sunny window in the living room. Using a spray bottle to keep the soil moist as they grow.
On the Menu
Even with all the sunshine we’ve been getting the nights are still cold so for dinner on this night I am making an Italian White Bean Soup which is as affordable as it is filling. This simple soup is hearty, delicious, and very easy to make consisting of Cannellini beans, Italian sausage, and kale.
I am also using the stock I started earlier for the broth. Something that impacts the quality of the soup tremendously. Fresh stock. Making your own is worth it not just in the aspect of frugality but its golden richness enhances the dishes it is used in. An all-around win for any homemaker. Here I share just how to make a delicious rich bone broth that can easily be simmered in a shorter time to create a standard stock.
An End to a Productive Day
Today has been a successful day of time spent in the kitchen and putting my garden plans into action. Spring is just around the corner and I know these seeds will be bursting from the dirt and ready to plant in no time. If you are new to gardening here is a list of the easiest veggies to grow. Which is perfect for the beginner gardener!
I hope you have enjoyed coming along with me in today’s Becoming More Frugal as a Homemaker post.
Until next time,
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